The World Over

No one could accuse St Andrews Mermaids for lack of ambition. The World Over, which tells of the travels of Adam (Magnus Sinding), lost prince of Gildoray, calls for theatre on an epic scale, with multiple shipwrecks, a flying sequence, a host of monsters, and an awful lot of swordplay. One of two approaches was open to the Mermaids: either attempt to recreate the epic with high production values or else keep the audience so entranced with the magic of the piece that they were willing to use their imaginations. Sadly they did neither.

The script - written by Keith Bunin - is pretty much a Comedy of Errors/ Tempest/ Hamlet/ Odyssey/ Candide mash up. This is the theatrical equivalent of ordering a double cheeseburger with extra gherkin, topping it with glacé icing, coating it in multi-coloured sugar sprinkles, and then deep frying and garnishing with a sprig of parsley. There were some interesting ideas behind all this, such as questions about the price of seeking destiny to the exclusion of living in the moment; at times, these glimmered through. For the most part, however, they were lost under a hodgepodge of conflicting influences and language that awkwardly combined the modern and the Shakespearean.

The style of the show suffered from a lack of direction. At first I thought the intended tone was light, a spoof of the unlikely coincidences and formulaic situations that feature in Shakespeare’s comedies. Then came the flashback scene where Adam was from his mother’s womb untimely ripped. Thankfully, this wasn't played for laughs - but with a bit of shrill squeaking from the Queen and some awkward fumbling, it certainly wasn’t played for drama either. Various other scenes of dramatic importance were similarly thrown away. Things weren’t helped by one actor who garbled his lines to the point that they were incomprehensible. And, for the love of your chosen deity, could the director not have found music, sound effects, someone dragging their nails across a blackboard or anything else to cover the endless semi-blackouts as the cast clumped, not in character, off stage?

The energy of the cast is faultless; each playing multiple roles, they bounded about the stage without let up There were some strong solo performances that introduced much needed levity. Simon Lamb did a marvelous turn as a villager saved by Adam from a griffin, only to be more interested in whether he could eat the griffin for his tea. Cara Mahoney was also an amusingly foul-mouthed Queen.

The play’s most inexcusable feature was its length. Starting at 10.25pm, it was an hour and a half long and it overran considerably. There was no compelling narrative to drive the piece nor characterisation to sustain it. Adam just washed up on yet another island. By the end, forget the play, I would have been quite happy if the world had been over.

Reviews by Charlotte Kelly

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

Adam believes that he is the lost prince of the country of Gildoray. But no one believes that Gildoray exists. Still Adam journeys the world over, battling pirates and monsters, ever looking for his lost kingdom.

Most Popular See More

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets